Providence Associate Jane Fischer: peace and quiet from trust in Providence
Providence Associate Jane Fischer of Indianapolis has spent the past year journeying toward becoming a Providence Associate on Nov. 8, 2014. She met monthly with her companion Sister Peggy Nau to share ideas and reflect. Jane shares about her experience here.
Why did you decide to pursue the Providence Associate relationship?
There were two factors in finally reaching this decision. When I retired from my full-time position, I wanted to volunteer in a capacity that would help others — but not just as an individual. I wanted to be part of a group. Now each time I sign a volunteer log as a Providence Associate, I feel the presence of the Sisters of Providence and the Providence Associate community with me. Also, when many of my dearest Sisters of Providence (elementary teachers and my aunt) passed away, it quickly became very clear to me the importance of those relationships — and I realized my feeling of loss was not just for those individuals, but for all the Sisters of Providence and Saint Mary of the Woods.
Tell about your experience as a candidate with the Providence Associates.
Welcomed, included, appreciated, challenged to grow — these thoughts come quickly to mind. But reflecting further, I would tell you that the sisters and associates never stop giving of their time, energy, and experience both inside and out of their community. Developing new relationships and broadening horizons, both spiritually and personally — well, can it get any better?
Tell about your experience of having Sister Peggy for a companion.
Upon retirement, I told myself that it was time to make a whole new set of friends — outside of the corporate world for sure. I was so homesick for The Woods that I requested a sister at Saint Mary’s to be my companion so I could visit regularly. Little did I know that Providence had Sister Peggy waiting there for me. She has been a true blessing in my life.
How has having Sister Peggy to walk with through the process enriched your life?
When it’s time for me to separate from the distractions of the current moment in order to hear what’s important, to listen, to wait for words and direction, I often hear Peggy saying: Listen! And, oh! What I have heard! She has a conversational method of teaching and guidance, and she seems to drop names of authors and new topics and vocabulary just toward the end of our meetings — this makes me anxious to get back home and start exploring more. I am not a fan of mystery novels, but she sure knows how to pique my interest in exploring the new!
What have you gained from the candidate-associate year?
It didn’t take long for me to feel a true sense of belonging and acceptance. For the most part, I am a very social, talkative person, but I am very pleasantly surprised at the peace and quiet that has come from truly trusting in Providence.
What do you look forward to next as a Providence Associate?
Now it’s time now for me to give back to the associates and the sisters. In addition to the volunteer work that I do in my community, I am hoping there will be volunteer assignments for me in organizations directly sponsored by the Sisters of Providence.